MILWAUKEE — I have always been fascinated by the beautiful architecture of this city. Milwaukee is rich with beautifully preserved historic buildings, and one of my favorites is Villa Terrace.
The 1924 Mediterranean-style home was formally owned by Lloyd R. Smith of the A.O. Smith Corporation.
After a trip to Italy, the Smiths were inspired by the Italian Villas and commissioned the building of this beautiful home. I met with interim executive director Neil Albrecht to learn about the history of the majestic mansion that sits atop Lake Michigan.
“The estate was originally named Sopra Mare, an Italian expression for 'above the sea' and it is inscribed on one of the fence posts down by the lake.” said Neil. “While many of the lakefront homes were designed to face the street, Villa Terrace was designed to face the lake.”
Today, the Villa stands as a Milwaukee County arts and cultural institution with many hidden gems to uncover. In the 60s, the Smith family donated it to the county to ensure public access.
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